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Tag: federal government

Market Watch: Don’t Believe Hype of DOJ Crackdown on White-Collar Crime

wall-streetBy Russell Mokhiber
Market Watch

If you ask, corporate criminal defense attorneys will tell you — as they have told me — the one thing their corporate clients want to avoid when facing off against the federal government is an admission of wrongdoing — to have to plead guilty to the crimes they have committed.

Everything else is possible.

Pay huge fines? No problem.

Accept a monitor to report back to the government? Bring it on, especially if the company gets to approve the monitor.

Turn over executives responsible for the crimes? Under the bus they go.

But no guilty pleas for the corporate parent.

That’s why people who follow corporate crime prosecutions closely are taking the release of a memo from the Justice Department that will implement new policies to go after individual corporate executives with a grain of salt.

To read more click here. 

Border Patrol Agents: Government Making It Impossible to Nab Drug Dealers

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents said the federal government is making it impossible to make drug busts, a move that has contributed to a “morale crisis,” the Los Angeles Times reports. 

“We lack the political will to enforce the law and allow our agency to be effective,” said National Border Patrol Council spokesman Shawn Moran in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

Shane Gallagher, an agent in the San Diego sector, said the agency has been very successful at nabbing border crossers with drugs.

“Now the port of entry has to explain who was in the primary lane, what actions were taken, if the vehicle was inspected, so you can see there’s a whole host of implications,” he said.

Gallagher said fewer agents are responsible for drug busts.

“There was a lot of pressure for us to get out of the [drug] interdiction game,” Gallagher said.

 

Massive Computer Hack May Have Compromised 400,000 Workers, Contractors

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A massive data breach that targeted Homeland Security may have compromised the security of nearly 400,000 former and current employees, contractors and job applicants.

The Associated Press reports that the computer hack was discovered in September but many employees weren’t made available until April 27.

This is a separate hack than the one that attacked the Office of Personnel Management.

Files on as many as 48,000 government workers may have ben compromised.

Border Patrol Once Again Has Lowest Worker Morale Among Federal Agencies

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Once again, the Homeland Security Department is the most miserable place to work in the federal government

The Washington Post reports that the department ranked last in overall employee satisfaction and commitment.

The score among employees reached historic lows for the annual Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson knows morale is a problem and pledged to make it a priority just before his Senate confirmation last year. Since then, the department has created an employee steering committee to honor outstanding workers.

Employee satisfaction and commitment declined three points to 44%.

Discontinued Full-Body Scanners at Airports End Up in Local Jails After Privacy Concerns

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The full-body scanners that revealed nude images to the TSA at airports now have a new home.

Time reports that most of the 171 scanners have ended up in jails nationwide.

Privacy advocates blasted the scanners, saying they were too revealing.

The federal government let go of the scanners for much less than they were paid for – $130,000 to $170,00.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Border Patrol Cracks Down on Medical Marijuana in New Mexico Despite Leniency Elsewhere

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Medical marijuana cardholders in New Mexico are running into trouble in New Mexico courtesy of the Border Patrol.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that patients are afraid to travel in the state because of Border Patrol checkpoints and crackdowns of marijuana, which is still illegal nationally.

The crackdown comes as the Justice Department, under the recommendations of President Obama, grows more tolerant of state laws allowing medical pot.

CBP appears on be on an anti-marijuana mission, prompting calls from state and federal representatives to urge the agency to rethink its position on pot, the Journal reported.

“Their argument is that, at the federal level, marijuana is still illegal and that is correct,” state Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Las Cruces, wrote in a letter to CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske. “However, with states like Colorado and Washington legalizing marijuana, most of the agencies of the federal government have changed their policies to reflect the reality.”

$600,000 Houses for Border Patrol Agents Comes Under Investigation by Homeland Security

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Opening an investigation into the costly price tag for housing for Border Patrol agents in Arizona, the Homeland Security Department has sent inspectors to the former mining town, the Arizona Republic reports.

The $15 million housing project caused an uproar among residents, who say the federal government spent far too much money on the project in a city that has an abundance of low-cost housing.

The project ended up costing $600,000 for each of the 21 modest homes.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI, Other Feds Face Budget Cuts That Could Mean Fewer Personnel

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Budget cuts in 2014 could mean fewer FBI agents and other reductions to federal law enforcement agencies, CNN reports.

“What we’re going to see is really tough decisions, really cutting into the bone of programs,” said Scott Klinger, director of revenue and spending policies at the Center for Effective Government, a budget watchdog group. “The belt tightening, the deferred maintenance, the tapping of rainy day funds — it’s all been done already.”

Lawmakers already began meeting to discuss the cuts.

A new round of sequester cuts could mean a whopping $800 million reduction for the FBI budget.

“That cupboard is bare. I can’t avoid it this year,” FBI DIrector James Comey said.